Given the tutorial foundation that we have built up to this point, we can move on to solidly support the contention that “delayed echolalia” is quackery, and then discuss the effect that this misunderstanding has had on the products that are based upon it.

“Delayed Echolalia”

Use of the term “delayed echolalia” displays incompetence about the underlying functions involved in imitation, and misrepresents the illustration of unusual variations in those functions (i.e., the related dysfunctions) by falsely claiming that they are reflexes in general, and echophenomena in specific.

Oxymoronic Labels: Variably Useful

It’s not a problem that the phrase is an oxymoron; in fact, it is easy to imagine a case where an oxymoron might make a valuable label for a dysfunction. Let’s pretend that I know enough about the practice of meditation (which I manifestly do not) to competently suggest that one important operation in its pursuit were the following:

• Deliberately clear your mind of distractions (that will otherwise excite your attention).

That clearing function might be usefully referred to as “inattention.” And as long as the concept of “inattention” represented a viable illustration, namely one that was grounded in an accurate portrayal of this function, then an approach to help meet that challenge might usefully be called “Focussed Inattention.” Now, some people might find it particularly difficult to engage in this practice due to cognitive and concomitant physical disabilities, in which case “Focussed Inattention” might be accessed through a therapeutic package. This would all work well despite the apparently oxymoronic nature of the label.

So, is “delayed echolalia” just such a useful oxymoron?

No. Because the illustration that it represents is just plain wrong:

• When it comes to echophenomena, “delayed” is wrong (because no delayed reflexes exist).

• When it comes to repetition, “echolalia” is wrong (because repetition is not a reflex).

This misrepresentation, then, is the problem:

• The associated therapy for “delayed echolalia” treats a myth, entirely missing the real underlying (dys)function.

• This myth hinders people when trying to make informed decisions about the therapies in which they chose to participate (or that they chose to implement as therapists).

Many such quack therapies exist.

Complex-Compound Quackeries

Ignorance of one’s status as a quack does not obviate personal responsibility, and if you’ve read this far, then you no longer enjoy plausible deniability.

The people who use the term “delayed echolalia” should stop doing so. For given instances of observed behavior, please reference the outlined terms to find a clearer, more consistent identification.

Which finally brings us to a reliable, consistent position from which I can address “gestalt language processing,” which – aside from its fundamental “gestalt” quackery – subsumes “delayed echolalia” in its guts as if it were a definitively pathological stage in the learning of language for some people… which it is not.

Yes, there are such things as:

• complex quackeries,

• compound quackeries, and

• complex-compound quackeries.

So buckle up, peanut butter cup.

“Gestalt” has Nothing to Do with It

A so-called “gestalt language processor” [~GLP] neither creates nor uses gestalts in the forms that are identified as the hallmark of their expressive language.

While a gestalt does conceptualize a collection of parts into a whole set, that holism is crucially organized into a higher-order entity; in other words, “gestalt” is not a generic label for just any instance of a mass. An actual gestalt is specifically the unified conceptual structure that emerges from a set of parts, where that whole is not just the simple sum over that set.

While ~GLP expressions are unconventionally long (at least to begin with), they are not cognized as higher-order composites (i.e., not as phrases that are composed of words with individual conceptual structures); to the contrary, this kind of language arises specifically when the auditory time-series is not being conventionally segmented in the first place.

And if you don’t have access to those parts, then you can’t use them to form a gestalt.

This inaccurate attribution of “gestalt,” then:

• camouflages what the person is actually able to do,

• disguises the true nature of the posed challenge, and

• ignores the underlying cognitive functions that are involved in the person’s actual processes.

This quackery hides the basis in which informed therapy decisions should be grounded.

So stop it already.


“Delayed Echolalia” has Nothing to Do with It

The unconventionally long units that are identified as the hallmark of ~GLP are not instances of “delayed echolalia” because “delayed echolalia” doesn’t exist (as we have demonstrated).

The characteristic utterances largely tend to be examples of repetition that develop into scripting or automatizing.

This Point

In the next section, we will provide a brief interlude during which we can summarize and consolidate before heading into the next big chunk.

Head to the next stage of the tutorial.

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